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Building a Robust Linux Security Solution: Page 15 of 15

SuSE (
) offers a comprehensive package, including a very rich set of X Window utilities and graphics adapter support. By far the largest distribution (five or more CDs), it also offers a suite of open-source security tools, including a proxy server, sample firewall scripts, and a system-hardening utility. SuSE also supports the RPM package format.

SuSE is the most popular distribution among European Linux users and perhaps the best choice for the intermediate-to-advanced user who is looking for a security-conscious distribution out of the box.

Debian’s (
) GNU/Linux is the clear choice if you want to go freeware. This distribution is actively updated and supported by a core of devoted (and remarkably well-organized) supporters around the world. The package format is very similar to RedHat’s RPM and just as easy to master. The initial system setup is not as intuitive as RedHat’s, but a seasoned systems administrator will actually find it more efficient, especially on multiple installations.

Slackware (
) was one of the first distribution methods to hit the scene, back when the entire Linux system would easily fit on a handful of floppies. While it’s still being actively maintained, its installation is not quite as straightforward as the other Linux offerings. Slackware relies on compressed “tar” archives and does not support the more popular RPM format.